Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.
Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel—the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey.
Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos.
©2013 Ian Tregillis (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I really really enjoyed this book. It's a strange combination of genres, and I thought it was great. To say too much would be to give away the plot, but the synopsis isn't bad. The book is told from Bayliss in the first person and Molly in the third person, which was a little odd, but I didn't let it bother me much. The narrator was excellent for both. I also thought that the author did a superb job of making the two very different characters, completely distinct in how they told their parts of the story, a rare talent in an author!
I imagine that reviews of this book will be very divided. If you want to sit back and listen to the poetry of a twisting, convoluted plot (which I'd advise requires if not a small knowledge of philosophy, then a dictionary (or google) on hand), then you'll love it. If you don't like super elaborate descriptions and metaphors then you'll probably find this book bloated in self-indulgent excess. So be forewarned. If you don't like the first twenty minutes or so, don't go on. If you loved it (like I did), sit back and enjoy!
The stylish noir twist on Heaven and Earth is great. The humanization of angels and the deification of mortals is thought-provoking to say the least. Looking back over the story I can see the whole plot Land how it all came together. However, the prose used to describe many of the Heavenly realms and interactions between angels is SO lofty that it practically makes no sense. That could be the whole point, in a manner of speaking, in that mortals can't comprehend the afterlife.
The narrator is amazing and brings a great characterization to each player in the story. I would definitely listen to another book with him reading.
As a final note, I have read/listened to all of Ian Tregillis' books and I am a fan...this one was just a bit off the well-worn path for him.
Too much -- the plot is confusing, the style of writing even more. I find the kind of images used to describe situations not appealing, but confusing.
Brings over the snoops language very good.
No, I don't like the style of the story.
Despite I found that it is difficult for me to find a sense or plot in the story I kept listening to it because I really like the style of talking of the main character: He uses slang and style of a classical P.I. novels snoop, which is really appealing and a bit funny. It reminds me of Bogart and of Tracer Bullet (Bill Watersons, of course). Very nice.
Highly recommended for anyone with the love of noir, strong female characters, and metaphysical humor. Hilarious, unexpected despite being trope filled, and attention grabbing. A joy to read.
I feel like I appreciate it more for what an astounding writing accomplishment it is than I actually enjoyed listening to it. I gave this book my full concentration and while it had some of the most enjoyable writing I can remember, a lot of it went over my head.
I am not always a fan of Scott Brick's narration for some books, but I thought he was spot on for this book and writing style.
Overall, I enjoyed it, maybe more of a 3.5 stars than 4. I still look forward To Mr. Tregillis' next writing effort.
Original story with noirish feel
The man in the empty suit is somewhat close, simpy because it's such an original mystery
The story isn't bad, but the narrator carries this story and lifts it from the realms of just another fallen angel story to a modern noir. Don't get me wrong, the writing was actually pretty good, but this was raised to its heights by the narration.
"Mind bendingly brilliant!"
I actually went to the trouble to deliberately log into Audible and write this review, that should say a lot. Fantastic book which comes to life with Scott Brick narrating who should be familiar to anyone who's listened to the Ender's Game books as the voice of Bean.
The fact that Tregillis has a PhD in physics is pretty obvious throughout this book but the surrealist descriptions teamed with the classic Bogart one liners make this a very original piece of work.
Somewhere between Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and the mind folding complexity of Ian M Banks.
Delivery. Just plain old delivery. He makes Bayliss into a real person during the course of this book!
Yes. I won't spoil it but yes.
The most unique story I've read/heard in a long time!
It is a fascinating setting with an awesome mix of religion with a little theoretical physics sprinkled for fun.
on the surface it seems like other urban fantasies but it is much more.
Bayliss of course,Scott got the Noir feel if the novel exactly right,It was a pleasure listening to the book.
"Decent, gets better"
The mixture of science and metaphysics is quite interesting in the world building, but I found the protagonist a bit tiresome for a while. In the second half the plot suddenly becomes more competing and I listened to the last couple of hours in one sitting.
Scott Brick is a great narrator and has a lot of fun with the Chandleresque monologues.
"Intelligent, Genre-Bending for Noir Fans"
The thing that I really love about Something More Than Night is it's completeness. Where Jim Butcher might throw "Noir" and "Magic" at the wall in order to see what sticks (with admittedly fun results), this book is utterly deliberate right through to the end; what seems like a genre-quirk becomes utterly essential to the plot, and you can't shake the feeling that a very clever writer is at work.
This is fundamentally a hard-boiled detective novel, and those elements are right on the nose, so really don't go in expecting anything else. The characters are sometimes charming, often funny, but I don't think I'd call any of them likable, and they're not trying to be. The prose is great, and there's a complexity of plot that Raymond Chandler would be proud of. Most importantly it really, really works as a detective story - never predictable, and you don't feel like the author has magicked the solution out of the air.
As for the more fantastical stuff, Tregillis has successfully blended Judaeo-Christian mythology with various concepts from modern Physics to come up with a satisfyingly smart and deep world, full of supernatural beings and extended metaphors about quantum entanglement. Possibly this will be off-putting for anyone who hasn't read, say, a popular science book recently, but it's fun, smart, and allows the author to be properly thought-provoking from time to time.
Finally, Scott Brick is just great. Anything read in the first person needs a first class narrator, and Mr Brick just nails the jaded, hardboiled-detective persona required of Baylis. Perfectly pitched, I really couldn't have enjoyed this book more.
"Something more than straightforward"
Yes. The narration is excellent and enhances the overall "feel" of the story. Very unusual and complex tale of things that are, things that might be, and things that were.
Not sure I can think of any. Scott Brick's narration brings The Passage to mind.
A sense of world weariness and impending disaster. His delivery adds depth and shading to the journey.
When Molly goes back to visit her partner.
Not an easy story to follow but well worth the effort in the end.
"Good in parts"
Less meandering science/pseudoscience. Make a point. Don't keep playing with it in greater and greater detail.
The first half was good for setting the scene, but then collapsed into ever decreasing circles of self indulgence. The detailed intricacies were fine as a hook, but it just got a bit much.
Unlike others I found it clear and understandable. Sadly, it was the best thing about this recording.
The protagonist. Is that allowed?
I usually like novels like this, but this just didn't float my boat.
"Ponderous narration ruins a good story"
Ian Tregillis writes fantastic books and I was really looking forward to this. I have tried several times to get into this one and I can't get past the truly awful narration.
Didn't get to the end, only made it about 2 chapters in.
Remove Scott Brick and get someone who can read a story, make it gripping and not make it sound like he's reading the instructions to a self-assembly wardrobe.
I didn't reach the end so didn't know.
I feel very harsh giving a review that might impact on the author's sales as I intend buying this book to read as the content of the first chapter was very intriguing.
Probably not. It was a strange mix of science fiction and angelology.
The structure of the plot meandered and there wasn't a strong, central relationship.
Haven't listened to his other performances. His performance wasn't the problem. It was the strange nature of the book.
I wouldn't be interested in a sequel, but others might like the strange genre mix.
Not really my cup of tea, but I did listen to it all so perhaps others might like it.
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